Food waste recycling expanded even further

The majority of Edinburgh residents will have access to food waste recycling by this summer with the service being rolled out to flats and tenements.

Although a kerbside food waste collection service has been available to residents with individual wheel bins, there has only been limited access to the service for residents in more high density forms of housing.

With food accounting for nearly a third of the waste being thrown out, residents in flats and tenements will be able to do their bit to reduce harmful greenhouse gases and reduce the millions of pounds that is spent by the Council each year on sending waste to landfill. With each household throwing away on average the equivalent of £450 of food each year, two-thirds of which could have been eaten, recycling food waste will also help residents save their own money.

Experience elsewhere shows that households which recycle their food waste become far more aware of how much money they are spending on food which ends up in the bin and become more careful about what they buy and what they throw away.

Letters explaining how the food collection service will work are being sent to each household, while secure kitchen caddies and large street containers will be delivered ward by ward between March and the end of May. The containers will be placed at existing bin points, either on the street or in bin stores, causing as little impact as possible.

The latest step in the food waste collection programme is taking place almost two years after a pilot was trialled in Edinburgh. It was then expanded to include low density properties last year.

Councillor Jim Orr, Vice Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee, said:  "Recycling is an integral part of everyday life and the amount of waste being recycled in Edinburgh has practically doubled in recent years. It is vital that it is as easy as possible for residents to recycle, and bringing it to their doors could not be simpler.
"The public have been very supportive of food waste recycling, and I thank them for their efforts. It is surprisingly easy and hygienic, as the caddies are small so need to be emptied more regularly than larger kitchen bins.

"Separating food waste from residual waste will make a huge difference to the amount being placed into bins and ending up in landfill. Last year this Council spent over £13m on sending waste to landfill. This is money that would be far better spent on improving local services."Of course, sticking to the reduce, reuse and recycle message will help individuals in Edinburgh to stop wasting food - the equivalent of each resident throwing around £35 each week into the bin."

For more information about waste services and recycling, please call 0131 200 3030.

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